Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beating a dead horse with $13M worth of electronic whiteboards

APS intends to spend $13M to buy a bunch of electronic "chalkboards". They will be used to move "cemetery seating" into the 21st century.

Cemetery seating is where you take 30 kids with nothing in common but the year of their birth, seat them like grave markers in five neat rows of six kids, and move them together in exactly the same direction, at exactly the same speed, for 12 years (and then wonder why almost half of them have dropped out by the time you reach your destination).

APS plans to each student an electronic "clicker" of their own,
and thereby fix their fundamentally flawed and obsolete
approach to educating children.

The Journal, true to form, has given APS Supt Winston Brooks the opportunity to sell the purchase to the community without fear of examination or contradiction, link.

Nowhere in the Journal is space given to anyone who might want to question the cozy relationship between APS senior administrators and the company who is making a killing selling $50M worth of electronic gadgetry to taxpayers, link.

No space will be given to anyone who might want to wonder aloud whether we should invest instead, in technology that will help students learn to become independent learners via the technological breakthroughs available to them, as opposed to continuing to try mass manufacture learners despite their 40%+ failure rate.

Instead, we will lead our little horses to water (in expensive electronic buckets) and expect them to drink like they have never drunk before.

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